Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 117,233,045 Issue: 233 | 31st day of Running, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

The Rise of the Space Faerie: Discovery - Part Four


by desibick

--------

Laimane leapt to her feet in an instant, sheltering the child against her body with one arm as she extended her other. "You picked a bad place to start a fight, Dorefska!" she shouted, squinting from the blinding light. She could feel the vines growing behind the stone walls of her secret room begin to squirm, all of them planted in case she was ever attacked here…

     A short burst of gruff, humorless laughter reached her. "Dorefska? Oh no. Dorefska would have mercy on you. I won't."

     The voice Laimane heard almost startled her more than the thought of an attack from her enemies. "Ramyn?"

     The light slowly ebbed away to reveal a tall, imperious light faerie. Rich, clay-colored hair tumbled in loose curls past her shoulder blades on to her chest, accenting tan skin and powerful light brown eyes; a small gold tiara engraved with a star surrounded by a ring of flame rested just above her forehead. She had a small, tense mouth and wiry, compact hands that gripped the opposite arms in a crossed position across her chest, and her tall frame radiated both contained fury and authority. Her dress was an admirable combination of simplicity and elegance: pale yellow with thick straps and a high, curved neckline, it fell to her ankles and accented her figure without being restraining.

     Inwardly Laimane gave a sigh of relief. Though temperamental, Ramyn was undoubtedly an ally: she had been the one who had left the key in the candle. "You felt it too," she stated, meeting Ramyn's strong eyes with her equally determined ones. "And so did the others. You felt the need to go out tonight as strongly as I did. So why did you try to stop me?" She paused, and then added, less fervently, "Why didn't you go yourself? I would have thought…"

     "Thought what? I'd want the adventure after so long? That'd I jump at the opportunity to risk my life again?"

     Shaking her head but saying nothing, Laimane edged her way past Ramyn into the room she had built years ago for the purpose of these meetings. The floor was covered in cool, blue patterned tiles, the walls were built of a pale white stone and were dotted with multiple shaded candles, all of which were lit. The room was unadorned except for three very different chairs and a small, beautiful marble fountain spurting clear water into a shallow basin in one corner of the room.

     The fountain's purpose would be unclear to any visitor unless they saw the fountain's use, which was made clear now by the young water faerie reclining in it. She was even more stunning than Ramyn, with extremely pale blond hair, tightly spun into thin curls and fastened by a loose bun at the back of her head so that bunches of ringlets fell to frame her thin, pale face. Her eyes dominated her features, their sheer size overwhelming her other extremities, and their color making them eerie to behold: the unadulterated shade of the sky on a cloudless summer day, they were the eyes of one who saw everything.

     Another faerie, an air faerie, occupied one of the three chairs: a large, cushioned seat the color of an emperor's robe. She too was eye-pleasing, but less strikingly so, with thick, blond hair the color of morning sunlight brushing her shoulders and pearly blue eyes tinted with lavender. Her clothes were light and a lovely cerulean blue, and consisted of a loose blouse with draping sleeves and a flowing skirt, both of them trimmed with bronze thread. The faerie lay sprawled out comfortably in her seat, as if she had no care in the world, her bare feet dangling inches off of the floor and the pale, thistle colored shawl draped around her shoulders hanging off of one arm. She had a shy, sweet smile, which she directed at Laimane when she caught her looking at her.

     Laimane grinned back, undisturbed by Ramyn's glare she could feel piercing her back. "It's good to see you again, Asha."

     The air faerie said nothing, but smiled again, her light eyes almost glittering with mirth.

     Sighing with relief, Laimane sank into her own chair, an oak rocker, and addressed the light faerie without looking at her, "Ramyn, sit. Giving me the evil eye isn't going to help anything, or make me understand what you're so angry about."

     "She doesn't know!" Ramyn's temper, which she had barely been able to contain, burst out of her without warning. "She puts me…all of us! She puts us all in danger, wandering the streets in the dead of night, threatening everything we've managed to forge in a decade…a decade! Ten years! Ten long years!" Her face flushed more and more with each word, giving her the curious appearance that her hair was threatened by the possibility of bursting into flame.

     Laimane frowned. "What did I threaten? I followed my instinct, and it's never lead me astray, or any of us astray. Do you really think whatever power gave us our gifts would try and unmake a decade's worth of work?" She turned to the other two faeries for support and found that neither of them would meet her eyes. Asha was sitting up strait now in her chair, the glee gone from her eyes. The water faerie's eyes were closed, but Laimane could tell she was listening to each word closely.

     Ramyn, who had remained standing through her rant, sat in her own chair, looking at Laimane intently, with no sign of anger now. "Do you know who this child is that you found on the streets, Laimane?"

     "A savior." Laimane did not shrink from the questioning, but she could feel a shiver penetrate her spine. She gazed tenderly at the child, who lay sleeping in her arms. "What more do we need to know?"

     "How far into her future did you see?" Ramyn's voice was even more strained, the need to hear Laimane's answer burning through her normal self-control.

     Laimane's eyes darted to the tiled floor, but she could not refuse to answer Ramyn's question. "I saw myself, raising the girl. I saw the end of her childhood. I saw it end with fire, fear and…a loss."

     Laimane raised her eyes to meet Ramyn's and found an expression there she had rarely seen before: pity. "And what beyond that?"

     "A city in space, armed with the doom of Neopia. And a faerie, a faerie with hair like twilight, legs like the stars around her, and skin like bronze."

     Ramyn nodded. "Presumably the child."

     "Absolutely the child. I know it. And she was the only thing that could stand in the way of the city in space. She has powers that no other faerie has."

     "Like what?" Ramyn could not hide her incredulousness.

     "Like the ability to go into space! What faerie can travel outside of Neopia? And you are part of it Ramyn." Ramyn showed no emotion. "She fought with the stars! With light and fire! You are the only faerie I know of who can control both elements. You must help me to teach her." She gave Ramyn a pleading look. "Please."

     Ramyn remained stoic. A voice from another corner of the room answered Laimane for her.

     "What you say is true, Laimane. The child must be raised, and by the right people. This is why you were called into the streets of Faerieland tonight. To find this child, take her home, and secure the hope that she will save Neopia one day." Laimane turned to meet the eyes of the water faerie, whose gaze was kind and understanding but full of hidden meaning. "But you have forgotten one thing: our instinct serves the greater good, or some form of it, as far as we can tell. It will do anything to manipulate us to its will. Keep secrets from us, give us obscure possibilities of the future…"

     "This was no obscure possibility! You of all people would know that, Sutri!"

     "I didn't mean it that way." Sutri's voice was emotionless, but her eyes displayed pity, just like Ramyn's. She hesitated, and continued, "What Ramyn cannot say must be said: you did not see the entire vision. We did."

     There was a silence that penetrated Laimane's bones. None of them would meet her eyes now, Ramyn, Sutri or Asha. Struggling to keep tears from forming, she diverted her gaze to the faerie in her lap, slumbering peacefully, not knowing her fate was being discussed. She had to say something, but she couldn't imagine what she could say. The paleness that had appeared in Ramyn's dark cheeks told her that whatever her companions had seen had broken heir hearts, and would break hers.

     Asha spoke now. "No ones blames you, Laimane. You were right, like Sutri says: we must do something. It's just…forgive us, Laimane, but we are afraid." Laimane was horrified to see that Asha's eyes were now flooding over with tears. "There was a vision…of a castle, crumbling to the ground. Two of the cornerstones were missing. One other was cracked beyond repair. One stayed intact."

     Laimane's lungs were dry; she couldn't breathe. "No…you must be mistaken, you must be lying…I would have seen it!"

     "No." Sutri spoke again. "You didn't see it because if you did, you would have never gone to find her. You would have never taken her home."

     "How…" Laimane's voice croaked with despair. She turned to Ramyn. "You knew! You told me not to! And all you had to saw was that! It was that simple! Why didn't you?" She too, was weeping now, her fresh tears warming her chilled cheeks. Asha leapt out of her chair remove the child from Laimane's arms, hushing her as she took her farther from Laimane's outburst so she wouldn't wake up. "It wasn't you, was it? Oh, Ramyn, it was you, wasn't it?" Ramyn stood and held Laimane close, but it didn't help. "Please say it wasn't you!"

     Ramyn said nothing as she held Laimane, her closest companion and ally for nearly ten years. They had saved each other's lives uncountable times, and Laimane had become the sister Ramyn never had, and yet never had she seen Laimane in such deep despair as she was now.

     None of them knew how long they stood there, frozen in time, Ramyn comforting Laimane, Asha cradling the girl in her arms, Sutri watching from her fountain with her wide eyes.

     Laimane finally stopped weeping, her voice shaking but clear. "I'm not going to see you again, am I?" she asked no one in particular. "Any of you."

     Ramyn raised Laimane's face so she was looking her in the eye. "You knew that from the beginning," she whispered, not unkindly. "You knew."

     Laimane nodded glumly and detached herself from Ramyn's grasp, heading to retrieve the girl from Asha. As she settled her into her arms, she could not avoid the carving on the back wall of the room, the image of a castle resting on a cloud, surrounded by four symbols: intertwining vines, a star and a ring of fire, a shell in the midst of a pool, and a cloud above a mountain peak.

     "I have to leave here," she said, addressing no one in particular, cradling the faerie in her arms. "And go to Mystery Island. We don't need this room anymore, and it's not safe for us here." She shifted uneasily. "But I'll take my garden with me."

     Ramyn nodded. "I'll make sure that the house doesn't attract suspicion. No one will find this room if I can help it."

     Laimane nodded. She wasn't afraid of that happening.

     "We'll be in touch." Sutri turned off the spigot that was spouting water into her fountain. "I promise." With a small smile she whispered a spell and was gone with a swish of the water still in the basin.

     "It will be all right," Asha promised, even though she knew it wasn't true. With a cautious hug, making sure she didn't disturb the child in Laimane's arms, she too murmured a spell and was gone in a rush of breeze.

     Only Ramyn was left. She stood close to Laimane, preparing to leave her for the last time, when she was struck with a thought. "What will you name her?" she prompted. "The child?"

     Laimane looked down on the faerie in her grasp, still sleeping with an angelic smile on her face. "Astrona," she said softly, as the faerie shifted. "That seems right, I think."

     Ramyn nodded. "Sutri is right, you know," she comforted. "No one can truly ever separate us."

     Laimane nodded dumbly. There was no denying it.

     "And we will see each other again." Ramyn's voice was assured.

     Laimane meet her eyes pleadingly. "Do you really think so?"

     "Yes."

     "Then we will."

     It was Ramyn's turn to nod. "Goodbye Laimane." She hesitated. "Goodbye, Astrona."

     In a flash of light tinged with flame Ramyn was gone.

     Laimane was quiet for a moment, as she gazed about the room, which was now empty and cold. "Come, Astrona," she said, speaking to herself more than to the child. "It is time to move on."

     Laimane turned her back on the room and did not return again.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Other Episodes


» The Rise of the Space Faerie: Discovery - Part One
» The Rise of the Space Faerie: Discovery - Part Two
» The Rise of the Space Faerie: Discovery - Part Three



Week 0 Related Links


Other Stories


---------

Random Stuff
Ooh... It's a Golden Mage Robe!

by p0king

---------

The Replacement Courtier: Part Four
"We should have brought Shannun," she whispered hesitantly, and he noticed that the closer they got to the entrance, the slower she was moving...

by senya

---------

Prankster
Everyone has a friend like this. :)

by zenwe



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.